A lovingly restored hotel at the foot of a Vail Resorts mountain, in the land of Sundance.
The high-profile Sundance Film Festival, world-class snow, contemporary art galleries—when Washington School House first called Park City home, it was merely a small mining hamlet and still nearly a century away from staking its claim as a Hollywood winter playground. The building opened in 1889 as a community school, and now it’s one of the ski town’s most stylish stays. The original hammered-limestone facade remains intact thanks to the restoration job by architect Trip Bennett, while interior designers Paul and Shannon Wehsener of Paul Allen Design overhauled the 12 rooms and public spaces. The Wehseners did a masterful job of integrating European antiques into the contemporary aesthetic. Whitewashed walls and bed linens let gilt-edged, upholstered pieces and rustic antler chandeliers shine, without overpowering the decor. Rooms also have soaring 16-foot ceilings, exposed beams, oak floors reclaimed from nearby barns, and locally-sourced white quartzite bathrooms. Another piece of history sits on the property’s pool deck: the torch from the 2002 Winter Olympics, reinvented as a showpiece fire pit. At night, it illuminates the surrounding evergreen-filled hillsides. While the form was certainly well executed, the hotel took pains to ensure that the function matched. Amenities cater to ski enthusiasts, from already-purchased lift tickets to the in-house ski valet to the retro lounge with midcentury chairs and curated selection of abstract art. The most important aspect, though, might just be something even the best design firm can’t deliver—proximity. Park City Mountain Resort’s Town Chair Lift is just steps away.